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Apple TV Take 2 review (part 2): HD Movie Comparisons - Page 3

post #81 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by jnjnjn View Post

Ha ha, your facts are certainly wrong when you ignore the fact that it wasn't a war between two formats. It seems that Americans (again) don't know history. V2000 anyone?

Are you sure you want your first post on AI to be a blanket statement insinuating 300 million people from one nation are ignorant fools?
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post #82 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by slate1 View Post

Anyone that expects ANY on-demand deliverable video service to provide image quality comparable to a virtually un-compressed media (Blu-ray)...

Bluray is definitely a much higher bitrate than the download formats...but I'd strongly disagree with calling it "virtually un-compressed".
post #83 of 98
Hi Wiggin and thanks for the reply,

I agree with you completely on visual acuity.

I have a small bedroom/office and have carefully compared the 32" 720 & 1080s in several showrooms closeup because I will mount my new set on the wall above and behind the position in which my present 20" Apple Screen currently sits on my computer desk until replaced with the new 1080p LCD on the wall.

The viewing distance for me for MacPro display, DVD/BluRay display and Comcast cable HDMI will vary from 2.5' when seated at my Mac desk to about 8' in my bed, and distances sitting in several locations between those two extremes.

I don't consider it a good investment to size the resolution of the screen I buy this spring to the limitations of February, 2008 streaming or disc technology. And who knows, on-air broadcast may someday beat those if the FCC will get out of the way.

1080p will be quite adequate for my needs no matter how high the resolution Comcast, BluRay, iTunes or whatever may provide on optical fiber internet interface or in-house video sources, but 720p is not. This is a unique personal situation which is unlikely to compare closely with others needs.

At my viewing distances, and for my purposes, 1080p is clearly better than 720p.

Reagan needed 12' RGB laser rear projection screens for his purposes in his National Security Center in Cordell Hull's old office when I helped install them 25 years ago.

32" 1080p is just right for me.
post #84 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by slate1 View Post

well... DUH HUH!!!!

Anyone that expects ANY on-demand deliverable video service to provide image quality comparable to a virtually un-compressed media (Blu-ray) is living in fantasy land. It's totally impractical to expect such. There is no available "pipe" big enough to deliver Blu-ray level video/audio on-demand... it would take a solid day to download to your machine.

Now, with that behind us - I can say that the AppleTV HD video experience betters any other similar service I have at my disposal. It BLOWS AWAY cable on-demand "HD" material that is so hyper compressed it's nearly unwatchable. Whatever Apple has done with regards to compression technology is quite impressive.

I watched Matrix Revolution on my 42" Panasonic Plasma last night and it bettered standard DVD, and on-demand cable HD, and broadcast cable HD... and not by a short margin mind you.

Someone might expect a service listed as "HD" to be comparable to other services listed as "HD". Since I think everyone agrees that AppleTV HD is much closer to a standard DVD than Blu-ray in image and sound quality, I disagree that everyone's expectations are being properly set.
post #85 of 98
I have FiOS, and it's awesome for internet-- easily the best. It's just as good as anything else for phone. For video, I kind of wish I'd stuck with Comcast. The video quality is good, but it doesn't work with TiVo, CableCard, or anything other than the Verizon-supplied set-top box. The UI is awful (even the newly released one), and you can't transfer video away from the television.
post #86 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booga View Post

Someone might expect a service listed as "HD" to be comparable to other services listed as "HD". Since I think everyone agrees that AppleTV HD is much closer to a standard DVD than Blu-ray in image and sound quality, I disagree that everyone's expectations are being properly set.

I don't agree. Having now watched a 720p movie (Day Watch) from iTunes via the ATv, I find it to be about as good as 720p fro Time Warner, on those stations using that format. On the other hand, those channels sending 1080i win hands down on the sharpness front.

ATv also has better sound than HD from Tv.
post #87 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booga View Post

Someone might expect a service listed as "HD" to be comparable to other services listed as "HD". Since I think everyone agrees that AppleTV HD is much closer to a standard DVD than Blu-ray in image and sound quality, I disagree that everyone's expectations are being properly set.

That's a nice ideal. But it has long been shattered by digital "HD" cable, which looks from the initial comparisons to be noticeably worse than aTV.

Blame the HD folks for not setting minimum specs.
post #88 of 98
You miss the biggest benefit of Vudu: Instant viewing of SD movies and very quick or instant viewing of most HD movies.

If you can plan ahead a few hours to rent your movies, it's not a big deal. But if you like to browse the library and just pick and play, Vudu rocks.
post #89 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

Bluray is definitely a much higher bitrate than the download formats...but I'd strongly disagree with calling it "virtually un-compressed".

I think "virtually uncompressed" is a fair description of HD DVD/Blu-Ray; yes it's compressed, but so long as the encode went well the naked eye could never tell the difference between the source and the Blu-Ray/HD DVD.
post #90 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cory Bauer View Post

I think "virtually uncompressed" is a fair description of HD DVD/Blu-Ray; yes it's compressed, but so long as the encode went well the naked eye could never tell the difference between the source and the Blu-Ray/HD DVD.

I feel that creates a false impression of the definition. There already seems to be much confusion about what is compressed and what is lossy/lossless among these forums. Exceedingly less compressed is a more accurate term, IMO, as it expressed that it is compressed but that it's far superior to other compressed formats.
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post #91 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrshermanoaks View Post

You miss the biggest benefit of Vudu: Instant viewing of SD movies and very quick or instant viewing of most HD movies.

If you can plan ahead a few hours to rent your movies, it's not a big deal. But if you like to browse the library and just pick and play, Vudu rocks.

aTV has virtually instant viewing as well, it just needs to buffer enough to keep up. Instant viewing depends on how fast your connection is, not the service.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cory Bauer View Post

I think "virtually uncompressed" is a fair description of HD DVD/Blu-Ray; yes it's compressed, but so long as the encode went well the naked eye could never tell the difference between the source and the Blu-Ray/HD DVD.

Then I guess I don't agree that the naked eye can't tell the difference between bluray and uncompressed source material. Every time I've seen bluray content, there have been visible compression artifacts.

And while there may be titles better than what I've seen, since there is plenty of content that isn't, it doesn't make sense to make that blanket statement about the format.

It reminds me of all the bogus descriptions of various mp3 and aac rates (including 128 and lower) as "cd quality".
post #92 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

aTV has virtually instant viewing as well, it just needs to buffer enough to keep up. Instant viewing depends on how fast your connection is, not the service.

I've never tried Vudu but if iHD streams play instantly without the need for buffering that individual has a exceptionally fast connection or Vudu's bitrate is very low compared to others.
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post #93 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I've never tried Vudu but if iHD streams play instantly without the need for buffering that individual has a exceptionally fast connection or Vudu's bitrate is very low compared to others.

I haven't used it, but they actually seem to have a very nice system. They store the first part of every movie in their catalog on the box's hard drive locally so you can start viewing immediately, and then they use peer-to-peer to download the rest. I'm sure that if you have a slower connection, you'll have problems, but it sounds like a good idea in theory.
post #94 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

I haven't used it, but they actually seem to have a very nice system. They store the first part of every movie in their catalog on the box's hard drive locally so you can start viewing immediately, and then they use peer-to-peer to download the rest. I'm sure that if you have a slower connection, you'll have problems, but it sounds like a good idea in theory.

That sounds very clever.
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post #95 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booga View Post

Someone might expect a service listed as "HD" to be comparable to other services listed as "HD". Since I think everyone agrees that AppleTV HD is much closer to a standard DVD than Blu-ray in image and sound quality, I disagree that everyone's expectations are being properly set.

Unfortunately, as long as the moniker "HD" continues to be defined purely in terms of resolution we will continue to have this problem. Perhaps we need to define a new label. I propose HB video...High Bitrate. Then you can spend your bit-rate "allowance" on resolution, frame rate, color accuracy, sound quality, or whatever you think makes for good quality. (Of course, then we'd need to take into account codec, MPEG2, H264, etc.)
post #96 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by WilliamDu View Post

The viewing distance for me ... will vary from 2.5' ... to about 8' ...

This is a unique personal situation which is unlikely to compare closely with others needs...

Nothing personal, but in the interest of reducing the flame wars and the vitriol we all read about 720 vs 1080, if you know your situation is unique, that would be useful information to disclosed in your post. Otherwise it's just stoking the fire and making it more difficult for anyone who may be trying to make a purchasing decision.

Just trying to be constructive...
post #97 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by McDave View Post

But podcasts are free content.

Let us know how the movie looks at 56" that should be a tough test

McD

Yes Podcasts are free. My main gripe is that the chart is wrong in regards to PS3 not supporting free content. I was suggesting that Podcsts should be a in separate column. Especially, since it is just RSS links to content hosted on a 3party server. PS3 free content are movie trailers, some causal games, and demo games. Plus PS3 has a web browser (a crappy one however).

As for as "The Core" that I rented from iTunes HD, it looked great compared to any upscaled DVD movies I have seen. But Blu-Ray movies still RULE!
post #98 of 98
Just rented my first HD movie from Apple TV (Resident Evil: Extinction). Everything went off without a hitch. I even had a power outage in the middle of the film, which I thought for sure was going to wreak certain havoc on the file (which wasn't finished downloading) or my rental period, but the Apple TV picked up where it left off without issue. Based on the picture and sound quality and convenience, I think Sony better seriously watch Blu-Ray's back; if Apple upgraded the Apple TV to 500GB and 1TB drives, and promised to let you redownload your purchased movies if you had data loss, the end of optical media could be much closer than I thought.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Booga View Post

Someone might expect a service listed as "HD" to be comparable to other services listed as "HD". Since I think everyone agrees that AppleTV HD is much closer to a standard DVD than Blu-ray in image and sound quality, I disagree that everyone's expectations are being properly set.

Um...no. Apple TV HD content is far superior to an upconverted DVD, and has less compression artifacts than broadcast HD. If the crap Time Warner & Comcast are pumping out can be considered HD, Apple TV content can too. It's closer to Blu-Ray than it is to SD DVD, although a Blu-Ray/HD DVD image is still far crispier.
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